Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Grocery Shopping - Who knew?

Who knew it was so hard to do something as simple as grocery shop when you have a baby? Finding time to shop is part of the issue. Having the energy to make a list, check the cupboard, run around the store, lug the groceries back into the house, put them away, that's a whole different story. There is a reason Peapod grocery delivery service exists. There is a need for grocery delivery when you are a mom. Even if you don't take the baby along.

Today, I'm sitting at work, with eight programs open and in the middle of five different things when I notice, "Shoot" (my G rated version), "It's already 4:30. I gotta get to the store." I typically leave work at 4:45, race to the car, road rage home in a hurry -- but I counteract that by driving through the park since it's more scenic... and faster. Then I'm usually 5 minutes late because I have to circle for parking once, unless I get really lucky and find a spot out front.

As I'm finishing things up on my computer, I grab my cell phone to call the nanny and tell her I'll be 10 minutes late, gotta run to the store, does she need anything, etc.? I quickly close out of everything I was working on, click send on one last email, tell the guys that I'll update them on a potential lead once I know more and I'm gone. I get outside, briskly walk -- trot actually- to the car, get in and realize, it's winter. I have to wait to heat up the car. I never wait to heat up the car and I know it isn't good on the engine so I'm trying to train myself early this season to be good to my little honda because she's been good to me. So I try to wait one minute for the clock to turn to 4:42 from 4:41 and... I can't do it. I think I made it 40 seconds and put it in drive.

Vroom, vroom, beep, beep. Seriously? Just turn left already. Hurry up people! Learn how to drive in the city. Don't make me miss this light you turtle! Gas is on the right. Let's go, let's go, let's go. Six blocks later, I pull into the grocery store. "Oops! (G rated version) I forgot my reusable shopping bags. Oh well. There goes the environment." It's 4:50. I park, hustle into the store. Grab a basket. Call Colette to see if she needs anything last minute. Her list is too long for me to get in one quick trip but I tried. Ta ta. Here I go. First on the list, formula. Oh, look! Baby food is on sale. Let's get a few jars, or twenty. Whatever. Wow. This basket is heavy. Hmmm... next on the list. Oh, wait. I have to get dinner for tonight. A roasted chicken and some bread sounds good. I'll grab a cart while I'm by the front door. My arm hurts from all these baby food jars. Gesh. Got a cart... with a crummy wheel/vibrating mis-alignment thing going on. Nice. Eeert, eert, as I whip through the produce aisle. Roasted chickens are $9.99? That can't be right. Oh, that's the turkey breast. I need the chicken. Got it. Eeert, eert, chitty chitty bang bang, fresh baked bread. Italian or French? Italian. Nice. Hot out of the oven. Love it. Chitty chitty. What's next? Chocolate for work so I can feed my cravings. Ziplock bags - the big ones, and pecans for the divinity I'm going to attempt tonight. Okay. Chocolate, might be near the nuts. Let's see. Eeeert, chugga chugga, snickers aren't on sale but kit-kats are. Should I really be doing this? Ah, what the heck. It's the holidays and I need something sweet darn it(again G rated). Okay, so the nuts in the chocolate aisle don't include pecans. Let's try the baking aisle. Yep. There we go. Chortle chortle as I attempt to "spin" the cart around. Ziplock. Two aisles over. Yeah, on sale. Freezer or no freezer? I don't want the vacuum seal. Freezer sounds great. Now to check out. Wow those lines are longggggggg. What's up with checkout line #2....looks empty. "Are you open?" "Yeah, I just opened." "Nice. This is my lucky day." Yada yada. Get behind slow couple leaving the store, dur dur dur, dur dur dur.

Finally, I get into the parking lot.

I attempt to ride the cart out to my car but it's vibrating so violently that I fear for my life so I go back to trotting behind it in my heeled boots clop cloping along. Where did I park? I think I'm one row over. Oh, there it is. Load the bags in the trunk. Great. The chicken bag handle broke already. That will be fun getting into the house. I push the cart into the cart corral, yea ha! Back to the car and vroom vroom home. More road rage, impatience, get out of my way. Okay, there's my street. Slow guy in front of me. Don't take my spot, don't take my spot. What? No spots near the house. Oh wait, no! Someone just pulled into a prime spot right in front of our house! Urg! 5:25. I'm late. I have groceries to carry inside! Have you no heart? Do you even live on this street? Grrrrr... around the block, cut through the alley, try again. Is this really as close as I can get? I'm half a block away. Whatever. It's 5:28. I'm so late. I told the nanny 10 minutes and it's almost 30 now. Go go go. I park quickly, pop the trunk, grab all six grocery bags and the broken bag holding the chicken. Check that the car is locked and click, clacketey clack quickly down the street. I'm just over half way home and I notice the clacking start to slow. These bags are heavy. Must make it home. You can do it! What? Are you flippin' kidding me (super G rated)? You're going to leave now? Why not 30 seconds ago when I was looking for a spot right in front of the door. Urg. No time. Get inside!

Finally, I get to the front door. Do I buzz or find my key? I set everything down, find the key. Unlock the first vestibule door. Hold it open with my hip and my foot. Grab all of the bags and the broken chicken bag. I get inside, climb the five steps, and repeat. Then get to the front door. Try the lock, set it all down again, get out the key, unlock the door. "Sorry I'm late. Of course I parked down the street and when I got ten steps from the front door I noticed a Jeep out front pulling out of the spot directly in front of the door. How aggravating. Have a good night. See you in the morning."

"Hey there Ada. Want to help mommy take the groceries to the kitchen? What? You can't walk yet? Bummer. Soon enough." And I grab all of the handles and the chicken bag and shuffle back into the kitchen with Ada in tow.

And that folks, is what it takes to buy a few items from the store. $56 dollars, 45 minutes, 2 missed parking opportunities, 2 bouts of road rage, getting stuck behind no less than 8 slow people, and an aching arm later, I've got a few items to attempt to make a candy my nana made for us every holiday when we were younger and we haven't had since she passed. All that work and who knows if it will even turn out.

Moral of the story: This thanksgiving, I give thanks for peapod (when I have a $100 order to make it worthwhile), family, attempting to cook, having the access to ready available food at grocery stores, and the freedom to cook as poorly as I do without being jailed for it. I'm hopeful that next year I'll be able to give thanks for patience as I've put that on my Christmas list this year. If you see Santa, let him know.

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